Hello again from this (my final) semester at Columbia College Chicago!
We are just a few weeks into classes, and yet things are already going full speed ahead. This last semester of mine has taken off with a running start, with already having re-envisioned my installation design several times in the last week alone, not to mention the numerous other revisions that have occurred since my first consultation at the school’s fabrication facility.
This flux is not unusual, but it’s quite a bit to juggle, so I’ve had to pin down a detailed production timeline in order to manage all of the simultaneously moving parts. Consulting with fabrication specialists leads to conversations with gallery staff, which transform into discussions with faculty and Thesis Committee advisers, then leading to coordination with media center and computer lab staff, and so on and so forth in a seemingly endless loop.
Still, although I am not always able to finish one thing before I must start the next, having a production timeline with fixed target dates helps to alleviate some of the anxiety of this constant, sometimes slowly inching multi-tasking. For one matter, having a production schedule has helped me to imagine my time in a more finite way; That is, although ostensibly I have until May to deliver my final work, the true deadlines for most aspects of that work will arrive much sooner than that date, and my timeline helps to root me in this reality.
With that in mind, I have to be responsible with my time and decide how much of it I devote to individual tasks—in what frequency, alternation, and duration—on the basis of my timeline. My tasks at the moment include constructing a structure out of steel conduit; creating eight, double-sided ten-foot drawings; editing video and sound footage; creating and printing digital images on paper, fabric, and removable adhesive material; running in-gallery projection tests; and building sturdy bases for my conduit structure, among other to-dos. As always, though, I count on the support of Columbia’s faculty and staff, with whom I have been consulting and meeting extensively over the past few weeks.
Looking beyond my thesis project progress, to update you on my post-graduation plans and job search, I’ve located numerous listings to which I will apply and thus can add updating my resume, cover letter, teaching philosophy, and academic and professional references to my list of things to do in the coming weeks. Further, as I mentioned in my last post, I am also preparing to travel to Los Angeles soon for the purpose of professional development (although I do also welcome the break from winter weather this trip will provide).
Finally, in the ongoing but fulfilling challenge of my first co-taught course, Making 2, Niki and I continue to work toward adapting our approach and content to best suit the needs and interests of our students while still fulfilling our essential objectives. Just as we have asked our students to be agile in their making process, so too do we need to show our nimbleness!